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There were a number of big surprises in the first half of the season for the first-place Mets, from Taijuan Walker’s All-Star performance to Aaron Loup’s sterling work out of the bullpen to the assortment of injuries that knocked out key players.
Nobody could’ve expected Tylor Megill to not only reach the major leagues in June, but emerge as a key part of the starting rotation.
“I didn’t think he was going to meet us this soon, a guy that wasn’t on the roster,” manager Luis Rojas said. “To see him here after watching from afar what he was doing at Double-A and Triple-A, I’m very impressed. I wasn’t expecting him to be here and be throwing the way he’s throwing. He’s showing everybody he’s got the poise, he’s got the stuff and the maturity to be here.”
Megill threw just two innings during spring training for the Mets. The 25-year-old right-hander started the season at Double-A Binghamton. A September call-up would’ve been the most optimistic expectation. But after a series of injuries that destroyed the team’s starting pitching depth, Megill was given a shot and he has run with the opportunity.
An eighth-round pick in the 2018 draft out of Arizona, Megill has pitched to a 3.50 ERA while striking out 26 batters in 18 innings, tied for the most any Mets pitcher has fanned in his first four starts. He has yet to pitch deep into a game — the furthest Megill has lasted is five innings twice — but he has kept the Mets in games, and they have won each time he has toed the rubber.
For now, Megill seems to have a spot in the rotation to himself until at least the July 30 trade deadline. Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) still seems like a few weeks away from making his long-awaited Mets debut as he is set to begin a rehabilitation assignment on Thursday for Single-A Brooklyn. David Peterson (strained right oblique) just began lightly throwing and Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) won’t return until September. Even if the Mets trade for a starting pitcher and Carrasco returns, at worst Megill could move into the bullpen as a long reliever. After lasting just 3.2 innings in his last outing, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner told him not to get down, because he isn’t going anywhere.
“I’m going about it each day with a positive attitude, trying to prove each time I go out [there I belong],” Megill said.
The Mets are planning to start the second half of the season on Friday with Marcus Stroman on the mound, The Post’s Mike Puma reported. Walker could follow Stroman on Saturday after pitching an inning in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, with Jacob deGrom going on Sunday. The team wants to see how deGrom feels when it reconvenes for a light workout on Thursday at Citi Field before flying to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. That would give deGrom 10 full days of rest since his last start.
The Mets are planning on activating J.D. Davis on Friday. Davis, out since May 1 due to a sprained left hand, has gotten hot in his rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Syracuse, with seven hits in his last 12 at-bats, five of them for extra bases. Rojas has said Davis, out since May 1 due to a left hand sprain, will be a part of the rotation at third base and could see time at first base and in the outfield, as well.
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